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READER QUESTION: Are there any downsides to Norwegian citizenship? 

Norwegian citizenship is often lauded as a fantastic option with very few negatives. So, what are the potential downsides? 

Pictured is a Norwegian flag.
Are there any downsides to Norwegian citizenship? We've had a go at answering the question. Pictured is a Norwegian flag.Photo by Mark König on Unsplash

Question: I am considering applying for Norwegian citizenship. Are there any disadvantages I should be aware of? 

We’ve written plenty about the requirements for Norwegian citizenship and the benefits of becoming Norwegian. However, very little information on the potential drawbacks exists. 


With so much information floating about the positives, it’s natural to mull over any potential drawbacks. 

And while Norwegian citizenship comes with many great benefits, there are certainly some downsides that may put you off or make you wonder if it’s worth the rigorous process. 

For starters, while Norway allows dual citizenship, it doesn’t mean that the nation you hail from or hold citizenship for does. 

This, for many, may mean giving up their original citizenship. This is a huge decision, which essentially means giving up your rights as a citizen in one country to gain rights in another country. This can complicate other matters, such as if you wish to move back to your home country later on in life or to retire. 

Calculating the net gain or loss of rights isn’t the only downside of having to consider giving up one citizenship for another. It could also be a decision as to how you see yourself or identify if you are particularly proud of your existing nationality and how important being seen as a citizen of that county is to you. 

For those who are already dual citizens, this same situation where you need to choose which set of rights to sacrifice for a new citizenship applies, as well as any considerations over whether you feel “Norwegian enough” to give up an existing nationality also applies. 

However, the issues aren’t just restricted to those who can’t hold more than one citizenship or are already dual citizens. There are a number of drawbacks to the process of applying for Norwegian citizenship.

For starters, the process is incredibly time-consuming. This doesn’t just apply to meeting the residence length requirements. 

Also, you will need your case to actually process. Anecdotally, many applicants report waiting between 12 and 18 months to have their applications processed. This waiting time isn’t without all the time it takes to get all the other paperwork together. 

For example, you may need to get your language skills up to scratch to pass the language requirements. This comes with the time it takes to get a test time that suits you. For those who are already up to speed with the language but still need to pass a test, this may mean jumping through time-consuming hoops that may feel unnecessary. 

Furthermore, you will need to pass the Norwegian citizenship or social studies test in the local language, obtain a police conduct certificate and actually order an appointment to submit your documents. 

This is all in addition to the administration and research you’ll be doing to ensure you’ve met all the requirements and dig out any important information or paperwork you must submit with your application.

Applying for citizenship doesn’t come cheap, either. Adults applying to become Norwegian are required to pay 6,5000 kroner. 

Although it’s worth pointing out that while the process to obtain citizenship can seem like a slog, you will only go through it once. This means that while the process is a downside, the length of time you benefit from being a Norwegian citizen will (hopefully) be longer than the time spent waiting

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For members


Quiz: Would you pass the Norwegian social studies test?

Looking to apply for Norwegian citizenship? Then will likely need to pass the social studies test. Can you pass our quiz version?

Quiz: Would you pass the Norwegian social studies test?

The social studies test is a required part of the application for permanent residence or Norwegian citizenship.

The test itself lasts up to 60 minutes and has to be taken in Norwegian if you’re applying for citizenship. However, you’ll be free to choose either the Bokmål or the Nynorsk form of the Norwegian language.

Depending on when you were granted a residence permit, and when you came to Norway, you may be subject to the right and duty, or just the duty, to take 50 hours or 75 hours of instruction in social studies.

When it comes to the test related to the 50-hour program in social studies, expect to find 38 questions. Each question will offer three options, only one of which will be correct. You will have to get at least 29 correct answers to pass the test.

On the other hand, the test for the 75-hour program in social studies also has 38 questions, and most of them will be multiple choice, but there will also be different questions.

Four questions will not count towards your end result. You will need to have at least 26 correct answers to pass the 75-hour program test.

The Local’s mock quiz

While there are 38 questions in the real test, we’ve compiled 17 questions for you to try answering – based on the official examples provided by the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills.

The real social studies test covers a broader range of topics than those covered here, so please don’t take our quiz as any certain measure of your ability to pass the real test and prepare diligently for the real thing.